A higher limit of £100 will be made available by UK banks from today, although not all retailers plan to implement the change and - for those that do - the change could take days, weeks or months before it's available in stores.
Roll-out of the new limit, which is more than double the current £45 contactless cap, is likely to be less straightforward than previous contactless limit increases due to unresolved concerns among retailers as well as a lack of consumer demand (just 35% in favour).
Previous changes to the contactless limit have taken place with widespread industry support, however the increase in October 2021 is being driven by a u-turn from UK Finance (representing banks and card companies) under Government pressure to break away from an EU limit for contactless transactions.
Advice for Customers
Customers should take extra care when making contactless payments from October 2021 as different businesses may have different limits in place, or at a different stage in their roll-out. Please ensure that your transaction has completed successfully before leaving the check-out.
Customers who wish to do so may be able to set lower contactless limits for your card, or disable contactless transactions altogether, by contacting your bank.
Customers will continue to be able to make contactless payments for higher amounts using their smart phone or similarly enabled wearable device where this service is offered.
Advice for Retailers
If, as a merchant, you own your payments terminals then adoption of the new limit will be at your own discretion, however merchants with acquirer-owned terminals are unlikely to have a choice with terminals accepting contactless transactions up to £100 from October 15th onwards. Speak to your card-acquirer for further details.
If your business operates self-service check-outs then you should contact to your supplier about the measures available to you to mitigate against contactless walk-off losses. The BRC will continue to seek a commitment from the payments industry to resolve flaws in the current contactless customer journey.
Collateral (updated 15th October 2021)
New or updated UK Finance guidance & collateral can be downloaded below.